The Mother of All Condiments

This past fall I had the great fortune of teaching a quarter-long class on preserving to an eager audience of health-minded, highly educated individuals at Bastyr University. Using the prolific campus garden and taking cues from local farms, I built a thirteen-week course based solely on what was seasonally available to put up for the pantry. ...

Cheater Pork Chipotle Tamales

makes: 8 tamales | start to finish: 2 1/2 hoursfrom Edible Seattle March/April 2012  Skagit River Ranch, one of Seattle's go-to farmers market spots for meats, is typically out of numerous pork cuts by the time I get there, which is always very late. I'm never disappointed by their simple ground pork. I think of tamales as being made with time-intensive pulled pork filling, and a dough made over the course of days. This version skips all that in favor of pork spiced with chipotle peppers and a simple dough, but it's just as satisfying. If you want to make these on a weeknight, soak the corn husks and blend the masa harina with water in the morning. For the dough 16 dried...

Sunshine Roach

I first met Sunshine Roach at the Queen Anne Farmers Market. I was just finishing a chef demo of zucchini fritters and she was loitering by the front of my table, quietly observing me. I asked if she'd like to try a zucchini fritter that had already cooled on the plate, or wait for a hot, perfect batch that was still frying. She didn't hesitate to answer, "I'll wait." Girl after my own heart, I thought....

Salish Sea Trading Co-op Wish List

Salish Sea Trading Co-op  Wish List Volunteer crew (skippers and deckhands) 25' or larger sailboat Social media assistance Business development leads: stores or restaurants near ports that would be open to shipping things to Seattle or...

The Wind at Our Backs

Building a resilient community on the shores of Puget Sound STORY AND PHOTOS BY BECKY SELENGUT Within minutes of interviewing Kathy Pelish, co-founder of the Salish Sea Trading Cooperative, I realized I had started by asking...

A Kiss From Afar

adventures of a recipe voyeur STORY AND PHOTOS BY ABRA BENNETT A treasure fell into my hands when I was drawn to a shabby green metal recipe box, going for $3.00 at the Eagle Harbor church's annual rummage sale. Hand-written recipes, newspaper cutouts, printed recipe cards, and various scraps of paper with food notes on them were bursting out of its rusty confines. I adopted it...

For the Love of Nerds

BY BECKY SELENGUT I have a wicked, insatiable, genetically pre-programmed, completely out of my control addiction to sweets. It was my grandmother who taught me that if you are on a doctor-ordered low cholesterol diet and you sneak candy from your nightstand when your 8-year-old granddaughter is supposed to be napping next to you, there are no calories and no consequences. When I woke up, and leaned over to see what all the crinkling paper was about...

Slim Pickings

the unpredictable qualities of wild salmon BY JILL LIGHTNER I'm standing outside the Trident Seafood processing plant on the Copper River, watching a crisis evolve. As the forklifts zoom around, beeping loudly, and a fishing tender unloads its hold via a noisy pump, three guys are standing still, speaking intently into...

Binge: Soft Cheeses

  BY JESS THOMSON Discovering a beloved cheese is like finding a new favorite band; sometimes you don’t know what you’re missing until you can’t get enough. We scoured Seattle markets and sampled dozens of soft cheeses made in our cheese-happy region to find these favorites. TIETON FARM AND CREAMERY’s goat milk Camembert has just been renamed “SONNET,” after their first goat, but it should really be called “Aria,” for all the singing it elicited in my house. It has a creamy edge and a chalky interior, with a buttery color and a thin, wrinkly skin. tietonfarmandcreamery.com, available at The Calf & Kid and PCC JACOBS CREAMERY makes a fruity MASCARPONE that’s relentlessly rich, if sometimes a bit chunky. Piled onto crepes with the...

Cooking Fresh: Fresh Meat

BY JESS THOMSON Imagine this: you're sitting at a restaurant, and the person beside you—a full-blown adult—is insisting to his partner that he only eats the pointy half of a carrot. The other part, the fat, round bulb near the greens, isn't for him. It sounds silly, but when most of us shop for meat, that's exactly what we do—and here, "we" definitely means me. I'm not trying to be obnoxious, I'm trying to be pragmatic. I forget that eating the whole beast doesn't mean eating just steak and...

From mug to farmer: How the money works in the specialty coffee industry

GLOBAL COFFEE PRICES The commodity price of coffee forms a baseline for specialty coffee, to which premiums are added for quality and certifications, such as organic, Fair Trade, or Rainforest Alliance. Companies like Folgers and Nescafé typically purchase coffee at or near the commodity price; by contrast, specialty coffee companies, like Starbucks, Green Mountain and innumerable small, quality-focused roasters, will pay premiums well above the commodity price. THE COFFEE CHAIN: WHO PAYS WHOM? Beattie doesn’t hand Inga a wad of cash for his beans each year. Instead, a complicated but transparent dance occurs between many players, each offering an important service to the others. All prices below are estimates, based on a sample commodity price on the date that a roaster purchases coffee...

Filling Your Cup

BY ANGELA MURRAY Tracing the source of an international commodity like coffee is no easy business. What follows is a by no means exhaustive list of Washington-based cafés and roasters that make their farmer relationships public. Some buy direct from the farm; others work through co-op distributors. In most cases, not every roast offered by a café meets this description, but you will be able to find at least a few options. It’s worth noting that Fair Trade is an internationally-recognized independent certification process that is not related to having direct relationships. Phrases like “bird friendly”, “organic” or “shade-grown”, while important, were not the focus of our search. SEATTLE Aster Coffee Lounge • astercoffeelounge.comBus Stop Espresso • busstopcoffee.comCafé...

The Coffee in Your Cup

Shedding light on how it gets from there to here BY HANNA NEUSCHWANDERPHOTOS BY PHIL BEATTIE Guzman Inga: The Farmer Twenty-five million people around the world grow coffee. Guzman Inga is one. He farms a remote plot of land in Peru’s lush highland rainforests. If Inga were a typical coffee farmer, the journey of his coffee following the harvest would be marked by obscurity. Once coffee enters the global marketplace, it disappears into a vast, dark, undifferentiated void. Until two years ago, even Inga had never laid eyes on a person who had taken the time to roast, grind and drink...

OUR AVAs – Walla Walla

French fur traders settled in eastern Washington 150 years ago, in the region we now call the Palouse. Was it named for the grassland, waving in the breeze like a vast lawn? (In French, your lawn is la pelouse.)...

Tater Types

Though you might not know it from the supermarket aisles, countless potato varieties exist. Since being domesticated in the Andes region of South America thousands of years ago, selective breeding has produced potatoes of different colors and flavors. This diversity is important, as history has shown the danger in relying on a limited number of varieties.  In the mid-1800s in Ireland, late blight spread through the potato crops resulting in the Great Irish Famine that killed an estimated one million people and forced widespread emigration. Olsen Farms has grown about twenty different varieties, ranging in color from pale gold to brilliant purple. Here are some of their favorites. Yukon Gold—Olsen’s favorite all-purpose, mashing potato. Slightly oval in shape, the Yukon Gold...

THE STEW FARMER

Brent Olsen’s meat ‘n’ potatoes BY TARA AUSTEN WEAVER PHOTOS BY CLARE BARBOZA When first-time visitors catch sight of Brent Olsen’s market stand they’ve been known to stop and stare—at potatoes unlike any they’ve seen before. Varieties with names like Rose Finn Apple, Purple Majesty, Maris Piper, Binjte and Romanze. “They’re fascinated by the colors and shapes and sizes and different cooking properties,” says Olsen, who on any given day could have up to twenty potato varieties. “People always say, ‘I never knew there were so many kinds.’” It wasn’t necessarily the unexpected variety that first attracted Olsen to potatoes, it was their practicality. Farming in the far Northeastern corner of the state, twenty miles from the Canadian border, he knew his...

Urban Foraging

Grow Cook EatThis gorgeous book makes me wish more cookbooks included photos of worm bins. Before that idea grosses you out: the first section of the book is a lovely and remarkably detailed edible gardening guide, complete with instructions on building a hoop house. There’s plenty of technical information here regarding soil temperature and succession planting, but try not to get intimidated. Once you hit the recipes, you’ll feel so inspired that you might just build that hoop house even if you’ve never before ventured past a potted rosemary plant.The book features a slightly unusual arrangement—everything is sorted out by type of bedding plant, so you’ll find cukes, melons and winter squashes all together under the “squash family” section, and...

Editor’s Letter

As we wait—in my case, not very patiently—for real spring to arrive, I find myself thinking a lot about journeys. They aren’t necessarily literal journeys, where a body leaves Point A to arrive sometime later at Point B, perhaps with dinner in mind. My thoughts were along the lines of watching a new idea becoming a new business, or a celebrating a student’s fresh set of credentials, or wondering how an ingredient makes its way from a grocer into my pantry. It’s never a simple matter, and far more happens behind the scenes in all these cases than we usually stop to appreciate. Transparency in these chains of events—publicizing what happens behind the scenes—is deeply important to locavores. It leads...